Dispatches April 6-15
Phil Ershler, IMG
This will be my 7th trip to the mountain and I'll be accompanied by [IMG Director & Guide] Phil Ershler and his wife, [Susan]. They will be trying to reach the summit, obviously together, which will represent Susan's Seventh Summit. It will also be Phil's second time to climb all Seven if he is successful. In addition to Phil and Susan, we will have two other climbers on our permit, [John Waechter and Charlie Peck,] who are US businessmen trying to realize their own personal goal of standing on top.
Greg Wilson, Expedition Leader
[Editorial Note: Many of the following dispatches were relayed by Mary, Susan Ershler's Mom, whom the expedition members called at home with updates on their progress.]
April 6, 2001
We had an early morning call from Sue & Phil. They have made it to Base Camp. The trekkers have headed back. The climbers are all feeling well, getting acclimated and will make their first trip to Camp 1 in a couple of days. The weather is quite nice - blue sky in the mornings and a some clouds in the afternoon.
April 11, 2001
Got a short wake-up call from Greg Wilson this morning, and the sat-phone audio was pretty garbled, but it sounds like everyone is doing well, happy, healthy, and they're planning to spend their first night at Camp I (19,500 feet) above the Icefall, on Thursday April 12.
April 15, 2001
We had a call from Sue this evening and after being cut off once with a call back and then ultimately being cut off the second time, our conversation was ended. It is amazing how clear everything is when we are able to talk - as clear as right here in Seattle.
They made their trip to Camp 1 - 19,500' - and had to spend a couple of extra nights there because of snow. They got back into Base Camp last night and will spend a couple of more days there in addition to today and then they will head for Camp 1 and then Camp 2 - 20,500'. They are still well and in good shape, however, they really crashed when they got back to Base Camp last night.
Win who headed the trekking group back from Base Camp also called this afternoon. She said the climbers were all doing well adjusting to the altitude and were strong. The five climbers have 8 Sherpas to accompany them, one of whom has summitted Mt. Everest three times, and all of whom are very strong as well.
April 15, 2001
On Easter Sunday, April 15th, we returned to Base Camp after 3 days at Camp I. We went up the Khumbu Icefall into the Western Cwm (the bells ringing in the background are from a Yak that just tripped over my tent rope). Camp I is located at about 20,000 feet so we had to do some acclimatizing.
We climbed half way up to Camp II. Our purpose was to get up there and get used to the altitude. Originally we planned on two days at Camp I but a foot of new snow and high winds pinned us down for a day. Everything is going well with the climb. We will remain at Base Camp a couple of days before making it back up the mountain. The next goal is to get our belongings up to Camp II. On the 19th or 20th we will go to Camp II for a couple of days. All is well and I am looking forward to moving up the mountain. It is hard to believe it has been just about a month and we are half way into the climb. Keep the faith. Talk soon.
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